Tucson man receives new MS treatment

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Patients with Multiple Sclerosis are finding relief with a new treatment.  While not everyone in the medical community is so sure about it yet, a Tucson man is behind it 100-percent.

About four years ago Ryan Noreen developed vision problems, had low energy and lost dexterity in his left hand.  He has Multiple Sclerosis, an autoimmune disease affecting the brain and spinal cord.

Exercise and medication help Ryan treat his disease, but the Tucson resident decided to put another treatment into the mix.

Ryan had a minimally invasive procedure to un-block veins in the neck restricting blood flow out of the brain.

A new theory by Italian Doctor Paolo Zamboni says these blocked veins create iron deposits and lesions that cause symptoms of M.S.

"Traditionally ms has always been thought of as an autoimmune disorder and now it's hypothesized that this vascular problem contributes to ms and these plaque buildups," said Dr. Matthew Namanny.

Doctor Namanny is a vascular surgeon in tucson.  He and another colleague have performed more than 100 procedures.

But not everyone is a candidate.

Ryan turned to Arizona Doppler Specialists. They're part of a small group of technologists across the country trained to screen for these vascular issues.

"I did all of the readings of the Zamboni protocol and it's very difficult. It's a different way of looking at the way blood flows through veins," said Arizona Doppler President Eric Feigenbutz.  "And what they are is blood flowing in the wrong direction of the jugular veins.  Blood flowing in the wrong direction inside some of the veins intracranial."

Ryan's had three procedures in more than a year.

"I noticed after the third surgery that my vision was better and that i had more energy," said Ryan Noreen.

But not everyone in the medical community is behind this theory.

"It would be wonderful if it shed some new insight into what causes MS.  At this point our level of knowledge is not high enough that I would send my patients off to have the procedure done.  I would want to see more data," said Neurologist Jonathan Carter.

"It's still a hypothesis at this point, but i'm hopeful that someday the research is done and that it does become shown to be a cure," said Noreen.

The National MS societies in the U.S. and Canada are funding several research projects to look into Dr. Zamboni's theory.